July 25th, 2013
Trust me, the full image (which you can go to by clicking on the cropped version above) is well worth a look.1
- I have to admit that at first glance one of my thoughts was "That looks like it's the NCC-1701!" I know the 'saucer section' looks to be too far back but otherwise it fits, dammit! ↩
April 3rd, 2013
- Who, reading the documentation these covers contained back in the 1960s and even the early 1970s, would have believed that forty years on manned space travel still wouldn't have ventured further out into the solar system than the Apollo missions did? Don't get me wrong, I know the human race has plenty of robots exploring various interesting corners of the solar system and peering out into the wider universe. That's all well and good and I love reading about the things they're finding, but let's cut to the chase: we're running way behind schedule if I'm to live out my retirement years in a modest little cottage with a view out over the Mare Crisium! ↩
September 5th, 2012
I wonder how many science fiction writers have drafted stories where this phenomenon is a deeply meaningful, possibly even elegiac, symbol of … something or other…
While the $5.50 nylon flags are still waving on the windless orb, they are not flags of the United States of America anymore. All Moon and material experts have no doubt about it: the flags are now completely white. If you leave a flag on Earth for 43 years, it would be almost completely faded. On the Moon, with no atmospheric protection whatsoever, that process happens a lot faster. The stars and stripes disappeared from our Moon flags quite some time ago.
Alternatively, this is just another attempt by NASA to drum up support for another series of moonshots:
Mr President, we can't let the next passing alien invasion fleet think we've surrendered. We must go back and plant a pristine flag at Tranquility, oh, every decade or so.
April 4th, 2012
It's just a shame that the megalomaniac space entrepreneur who decides to try to make these scenes a reality by blowing up the Moon will most likely be reviled as the man whose legacy – at least to the Earthbound portion of the human race – was a Forest Moon of Endor-sized catastrophe.
[Via James Nicoll]
- I'm a little dubious about the presence of what looks to be our current Moon in one of the images. At the very least, I think the Moon's presence would produce a distinctive pattern of gaps between the rings, what with the relative masses of Earth and the Moon acting in concert on the rings themselves. ↩
December 25th, 2011
September 11th, 2011
My favourite thing about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's images of the Apollo lunar landing sites is that you can still see the tracks of the lunar rovers, and the trails left by the astronauts walking from the lander to the local landmarks.
It's one thing to be aware that there's no atmosphere to disturb the tracks left in the lunar dust, but seeing the evidence almost forty years on is something else entirely.
February 21st, 2010
Fortunately, it turns out that there is a good explanation for why Obama canceled the Constellation program. That explanation has been provided by Richard C. Hoagland. Hoagland, you may remember, is the person who discovered the lost city on Mars, and a bunch of giant invisible structures on the Moon that he asserts are the remains of alien civilizations. They're there, he says, but because they are invisible we have to trust him.
Hoagland has come up with a startling revelation… that Obama canceled the lunar program because (drum roll please): he was warned by Space Nazis. [...]
It's crazy, but it's not quite up there with my favourite Hoagland theory, about Iapetus. Now that's quality crazy.
[Via James Nicoll]
June 13th, 2009
Purposefully crashing something into the moon just to watch what happens is akin to a schoolboy cutting up a live frog to see what makes it jump. It is an example of the domination of the left-brained rational scientific approach over the intuitive.
Did these scientists talk to the moon? Tell her what they were doing? Ask her permission? Show her respect?
[Via Ben Goldacre]